The combination of goats' cheese and roasted vegetables on a cool bed of couscous mixed with salad leaves and a spicy dressing is positively fabulous.
For the roasted vegetables
- 1 small eggplant
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes, skinned
- 1 small red pepper, de-seeded and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm)
- 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 large onion, sliced and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm)
- 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn so that they stay quite visible
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces pitted black olives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the couscous
- 10 ounces medium couscous
- 18 fluid ounces vegetable stock
- 4 ounces firm goat cheese
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 3 ounces mixed salad greens or 3 ounces baby greens
For the dressing
- 4 fluid ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 4 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 1 tablespoon black onion seeds
- First prepare the roasted vegetables: prepare the eggplant and zucchini ahead of time by cutting them into 1 inch (2.5 cm) dice, leaving the skins on. Then toss the dice in a level teaspoon of salt and pack them into a colander with a plate on top and a heavy weight on top of the plate. Leave them on one side for an hour so that some of the bitter juices drain out. After that, squeeze out any juices left, and dry the dice thoroughly in a clean cloth. Preheat the oven to gas mark 9, 475°F (240°C).
- Now arrange the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, pepper, fennel and onion in the roasting pan or sheet pan, sprinkle with the crushed garlic, basil and olive oil, toss everything around in the oil to get a good coating and season with salt and pepper. Place the pan on the highest shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are toasted brown at the edges.
- When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and stir in the chopped olives and the capers then remove them to a plate to cool.
- When you're ready to assemble the salad, first place the couscous in a large, heatproof bowl, then pour the boiling stock over it, add some salt and pepper, stir it with a fork, then leave on one side for 5 minutes, by which time it will have absorbed all the stock and softened.
- Meanwhile cut the cheese into sugar cube-sized pieces. Make up the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour into a serving container. To serve the salad, place the couscous in a large, wide salad bowl and gently fork in the cubes of cheese along with the roasted vegetables. Next arrange the salad leaves on top and, just before serving, drizzle a little of the dressing over the top followed by a sprinkling of onion seeds and pass the rest of the dressing around separately.
I have tried this recipe several times but I found it on Delia Smith's website (deliaonline, I think). It is exactly the same recipe, word for word!
P.S. Delia Smith is a very well-known chef in the U.K.
Ooh, delicious!! I also made it without the cheese, and the flavors are amazing :) I added artichoke hearts & sweet potato chunks, along with chopped parsley - and the dressing was perfect as is. This would also be great tossed with spinach fettucine (hot), leaving out the couscous - or with tricolored rotini (cold) as a pasta salad! YUM
This is truly delicious and would be wonderfu for a dinner party of adventurous eaters that enjoy strong ethnic flavors. I've made it about four times now and sometimes short cut with the chicken meat from a cooked rotisserie chicken. I do make a few modifications now that it is a staple for our personal taste. I cut the olive oil by an ounce and the lime juice by a bit on the dressing - it makes the dressing a bit lighter and less zingy so the other flavors come through more. I typically leave the cheese out as it cuts calories and it the dish has plenty of flavor without it. I also leave out the black olives because I find them a bit too salty and I think they overwhelm the other flavors. I have also varied the veggies and the pasta base and used whatever I have on hand. I do recommend a smaller pasta or rice to soak up all the delicious flavors, and I find it just as enjoyable at room temperature or heated up. In addition, the leftovers, if there are any, are just as great the next day. Thanks so much for posting this!